When travelling with a baby or even visiting friends or family for the day, a significant number of people still don’t use a travel cot.
Whether they sleep with their babies in their beds or use other people’s cots – both of which are widely discouraged by the Foundation of the Study of Infant Deaths – there are still a massive amount of people not using an essential item for your baby’s happiness and safety.
And it doesn’t have to be expensive. A basic travel cot can cost as little as £25 and will support you and your baby for years and years.
A Safe Place For Your Baby To Sleep
The key benefit of a travel cot is that it gives your baby somewhere safe and familiar to sleep when you are away from home.
As parents, we all understand the importance of our babies getting regular and good quality sleep, yet the time that sleep is interrupted the most is when you are away from home – a time when you want your baby to have a sound sleep more than ever.
A key reason babies do not sleep when they are put to bed outside the home is because they are unfamiliar with their surroundings.
Especially when they are very young, a babies’ sense of smell is far more developed than their sense of sight. Therefore, by placing your baby in an environment which smells familiar and then looks familiar with use, you are more likely to ensure that your baby gets a good solid sleep even when they are away from home.
By using a cot that has been kept in your home and has sheets that have been washed in the same way as their own cot sheets, the travel cot will quickly become familiar to your baby and will become a home away from home, making them more relaxed and happier to sleep.
When you use a travel cot regularly, the baby will understand that when you they are placed in the travel cot it is a time for winding down and going to sleep. Giving your baby this ‘breakout’ from new experiences and bonding them back to something familiar will give them the opportunity to relax their senses, reduce their excitement levels and go sleep far quicker.
In fact, some mothers will use their travel cots as a chill out space for their babies and when they become over excited in a new environment, place them in their cot for a while, just so that the baby can regroup, recharge and relax away from all the new stimulants which can become exhausting.
Easy To Use
These days travel cots are so compact and light that it is easy to take them with you wherever you go. It can easily fit in the back seat or boot of the car and is far less cumbersome than the average travel system. And when you arrive, compact travel cots take only a couple of minutes to set up and take up little space, which means you can usually fit them in a friend’s bedroom or in the corner of a hotel room and you will always have an environment for your baby that you know is safe, comfortable and familiar for them to be in, making the chances of them being happy with their environment even greater.
And if you find that even a standard lightweight travel cot is still too heavy or if space is at a premium, you can always opt for a pop-up travel cot. Usually contained in a bag about the size of a large shopping bag, a pop-up travel cot takes seconds to put up and weighs less than an average large shopping bag making it an ideal cot to take to more remote places or when you will be moving around more often.
Helpful in the Home
Even when you are not travelling and are at home, a travel cot can still be incredibly useful.
When you first bring your baby home, your baby will sleep for a significant amount of the day at a time when you may not feel ready to be going up and down the stairs to tend to your baby. By placing your baby in the travel cot downstairs for daytime sleeps your baby is able to have their own safe sleeping environment within easy sight and reach of you whatever you are doing.
It is also thought that by differentiating a baby’s daytime sleep from their night-time sleep by using a different environment, such as their travel cot in a lighter room than their nursery, babies become used to the long night-time sleep a lot quicker and will sleep through the night at an earlier age.
And when your baby is not sleeping, your travel cot can also be used for a safe place for the baby to play. Whether you are keen to protect your baby from pets or boisterous siblings, or just want to keep them and their toys from straying, a travel cot provides a safe and solid surrounding for your baby, to ensure they can relax and play with ease.